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Provost's Imagine Fund for Arts and Humanities

L’Aqua Alta: A Photography Exhibition Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the 1966 Florence Flood

This proposal seeks continued support for a photography exhibition commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1966 flood in Florence, Italy. This project builds upon previous scholarship on Balthazar Korab (1926-2013) about whom I authored a definitive biography (Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography, 2012).
In 1966, seven years after opening his photography studio, Korab planned a one-year, “sabbatical” to Florence with his family. With no specific projects to deliver, Korab hoped to “recharge” and document the cultural landscapes of Italy “on his terms.” However, shortly after their arrival (11/06/66), the Arno River overflowed to its highest levels since the fourteenth century initiating one of the most damaging natural disasters in the city’s history. Strapped with his cameras, Korab hurried to the city center to document the flood and the destruction left in its wake. For the following two years, Korab received commissions from the Associated Press, Life Magazine, National Geographic, and the Uffizi Museum to chronicle the restoration of buildings, rare artworks, and historic manuscripts.
The 50th anniversary of this extraordinary event offers a rare opportunity to assemble the first exhibition of Korab’s photography chronicling the flood, and the international efforts amassed to restore some of Italy’s the most significant works of art and architecture.
I have identified a gallery in Florence (Tethys Gallery) that has committed to exhibiting the photographs in 2016. We have developed a budget (below) that totals 9,355.00 euro ($10,308). If successful, I will use this funding along with last year’s award to realize the project.

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